The most valuable assets in every scientific community are the expert work force and the research results/data produced. The last decade has seen new experimental and computational techniques developing at an ever-faster pace, encouraging the production of ever-larger quantities of data in ever-shorter time spans. Concurrently the traditional scientific working environment has changed beyond recognition. Today scientists can use a wide spectrum of experimental, computational and analytical facilities, often widely distributed over the UK and Europe. In this environment new challenges are posed for the Management of Data every day, but are we ready to tackle them? Do we know exactly what the challenges are? Is the right technology available and is it applied where necessary? This part of enabling technologies investigates current hardware techniques and their functionalities and provides a comparison between various products.